On the weakness of catechism.

Through New Eyes – Developing a Biblical Worldview by James Jordan

In the Western world for several centuries, men have assumed that the proper way to express truth is by means of abstract, philosophical language. Wherever we find imagery, parable, symbolism, or typology, we ought to translate such language into proper abstractions. This, however, is not how God chose to reveal Himself to us. To be sure, some parts of the Bible are written in abstract language, especially the epistles of St. Paul. Most of the Bible, however, is written in stories, histories, poems, symbols, parables, and the like. As far as God is concerned, this way of revealing truth is equally as important as abstract philosophizing. Notice, for instance, the way in which our confessions of faith and catechisms are written. They are virtually devoid of imagery. Solomon wrote Proverbs to instruct youth, but for centuries Christians have used catechisms that consist basically of definitions of terms: What is justification; what is prayer; what is meant by the fourth petition; etc. The contrast of approaches is quite startling. It illustrates for us the problem we have in recovering the Biblical worldview.

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